The use of outsourcing has grown enormously over the past few decades. Once the domain of only the biggest companies that required large call centres, the industry has developed and evolved. Providers will now cater to businesses that only require a few seats, while still offering the same high-quality services they provide to their largest clients.
The BPO industry in the Philippines has been a major beneficiary of this growth. Now a world leader in the sector — more businesses choose the Philippines for their call centres than anywhere else — it has succeeded because it can deliver on the promise of outsourcing services that are cheaper, better, and more flexible.
“Cost was the main initial driver of outsourcing decisions. While many businesses focused too heavily on savings, and paid the price in lost customers, the Philippines, with lower labour costs, can typically deliver savings of around 50% when compared to in-house or domestic provision, while still maintaining quality. This higher quality ensures that the business not only saves money but also retains customers and is able to make a profit each year,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, a leading omnichannel contact centre in the Philippines.
Improved quality is where outsourcing to the Philippines makes sense. The nation has a long connection with the West, which, while rooted in a colonial past, continues to this day. Many of its institutions, including education, emulate western models, and the nation has a high level of English-fluency — using it as one of the official languages — and there is a close cultural affinity. This means that the highly educated call agents employed by premier providers are not only skilled but can communicate and develop a rapport with western customers who may not even detect an accent.
Going beyond this, the size of the BPO sector in the Philippines means that it is subject to significant investment. The government, recognising it as a major part of the economy, provides support and even aligns regulatory frameworks with the west. Additionally, businesses themselves invest heavily in their staff and infrastructure. Over one million Filipinos work in the sector, and frequently work from custom-built facilities using the latest technology.
“Outsourcing provides the most flexible way to meet demand for quality supports. Philippine BPOs can scale rapidly to handle changes in demand, whether it’s seasonal, because of a product launch, or even because of an unexpected change or event. All while maintaining the significant savings and high-quality that has set the Philippines apart from its competition as an outsourcing destination,” says Ellspermann.
Ultimately, the growth of outsourcing is down to one thing: its success as a business strategy. Companies that outsource can focus on their core business, whether a product or a service, knowing that ancillary functions are being handed by expert providers. Indeed, they can often do this knowing that the quality of those ancillary services is better than they could provide in-house, despite being half the price. The savings on the bottom-line are enhanced by the benefits of increased customer satisfaction and retention, making it a double win. Outsourcing continues to succeed because it is, quite simply, good business sense.